Medical care is expensive, not just for humans but also for pets. All the same elements for human health care are present for pets: doctor visits, medicines, surgery, etc. Just as there are health insurance plans for people, there is also insurance for your pet. Having a pet insurance plan can help assure you that will be able to keep your pet healthy, strong and happy.
As the amount of pet owners and pets grows, so does the popularity and availability of pet insurance. While it is important to have pet insurance, a pet owner must choose carefully which plan is best for them and their pet.
Elements Of Pet Insurance – What’s Covered?
There are three major areas of pet insurance coverage:
1) Vet visits for scheduled check-ups and required shots. (“Wellness Coverage”)
2) Vet costs, medicines and surgery or therapy for treating illness and bad health conditions. (Medical Coverage)
3) Costs for treatment of injuries. (Accident Coverage)
There are policies available that have one or more of the above types of coverage. The easiest to obtain and also usually the least expensive are Wellness and Accident coverages. Medical coverage, especially if it is very comprehensive – covering most illnesses and conditions – is the most expensive part of pet insurance.
How Pet Insurance Plans Work
Most pet insurance plans use reimbursement. You have to pay for the care and then file a claim to get reimbursed. Also, most plans have deductibles – usually per each claim. The less the deductible, the higher is the premium cost. Just like human insurance, the pet varieties usually have exclusions – things (including certain breeds and ages of pets) they won’t cover at all.
Be aware that most policies have waiting periods before becoming effective. These ensure that people don’t buy insurance to cover emergencies and then cancel the policy straight after. For injuries, it is normally five days; for illnesses, it is 14 days.
Pet Insurance Costs
There are dozens of pet insurance providers, with each of them offering different kinds of plans. You need to shop and compare, not only for costs – but even more importantly for coverage details. Here are some examples:
– ASPCA: Coverage types: Accident, illness, and wellness
Starting price: $118 per year
Deductible: $100 to $500
– GEICO: Coverage types: Accident, illness
Starting price: $68 per year
Deductible: $200 to $1,000
– Progressive: Coverage Types: Accident, illness, wellness
Starting Price: $6 to $9 per month
Deductible: $50 to $1,000
Some pet insurance plans have special exclusions and limitations. These can include pre-existing conditions, certain breeds, an age limit and which vets can be used. Therefore it is vital that you carefully get all the details of a plan, to make sure it will really be beneficial for your specific pet and for you.
Also, some vets offer their own private type of insurance or discount plans. If you are very connected and happy with your vet, you should ask him/her about this possibility.